DIY Staging Tips for Your Southern Maryland Home That Won’t Break the Bank

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on September 12, 2018

So, you don’t have a warehouse full of designer furniture, accessories, and home décor items – or a degree in interior design. Don’t let that stop you from fashionably staging your Southern Maryland home before you put it on the market!

Staging isn’t just the act of decorating the home; it is an appeal to emotions. A lot of psychology goes into determining colors, textures, and furniture arrangement.

You’ll see this psychology in action in model homes. Every element in each room is carefully chosen to make potential buyers feel something.

Ultimately, the designers hope to create desire – they want to create a sense of longing for the home. They get there by making homebuyers see themselves living in the home.

The first rule of home staging

Most articles that you read about home staging start with the advice to “clean the home.” There’s a reason for that! Studies show that clean homes sell faster and for more money than dirty homes.

And, by “dirty,” we don’t necessarily mean slovenly. Something as common as a pile of laundry, dishes in the sink, or children’s toys scattered about can turn off a potential buyer.

“You’re asking people to forgive the mess and still pay top dollar,” stager and interior decorator Darrow Samberg tells Lena Katz at

By “clean,” we mean from-the-ceilings-to-the-baseboards immaculate. Yes, it’s challenging to keep it that way while your home is on the market. But, it will help the home sell quicker than it would if you don’t take the time to clean.

The second piece of advice from stagers is to “depersonalize” the home. Most will advise you to remove family photos, certificates, diplomas, kids’ artwork, collections, and anything else of a personal nature from the shelves, walls, and surfaces of every room.

By doing so, you not only allow potential buyers to more readily see themselves living in the space, but you’ll also be taking steps toward decluttering the home (the third step in the pre-staging process).

Next, get rid of clutter. This includes items on countertops in the kitchen and bathroom, stacks of newspapers and magazines, and anything else that isn’t decorative. 

DIY staging on the cheap: Start with your furniture

The best way to make a small room appear larger is to remove furniture that is too big. Then, rearrange what’s left so that it advertises the purpose of the room.

In other words, move the baby’s changing table out of the master bedroom and ditch that exercise equipment that clutters the family room.

Next, arrange the furniture that’s left to maximize space and create a cozy feeling. Pull the living room and family room furniture away from the walls and reposition chairs, sofas, and coffee tables to create a conversation area.

The pros at Better Homes & Gardens suggest “arranging the seating pieces to face each other over a shared coffee table …”

Spiff up kitchens and bathrooms

For years, surveys of homebuyers have shown that the most important rooms in a home are the kitchen and the bathroom. It only makes sense, then, that your attention should be focused on these two rooms.

Thankfully, there are easy, inexpensive DIY projects that require nothing more than a bit of energy. Start by removing everything from the drawers and cupboards, thoroughly cleaning the interior of them and then returning to them only what is absolutely necessary.

Arranging the contents neatly gives the impression of roominess. Buyers want to see lots of storage space!

“Turn all coffee cup handles facing the same direction,” suggests Elizabeth Weintraub at the “Buyers will notice and think you are meticulous about the rest of the home, too.”

Speaking of cupboards and drawers, consider purchasing new hardware for them if yours are dated.

Bathrooms are easy to update on the cheap. A fresh coat of paint (even on the cabinets, if needed), new lighting, and fresh, matching linens will help add a wow factor to a dated bathroom.

Additional ideas

Here are some inexpensive ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Tour model homes to get staging ideas. Don’t forget to take your camera to snap photos so you can copy the décor.
  • Go through the attic, basement, and garage, looking for anything you can use in staging.
  • Shop for decorative pieces, if necessary., flea markets, garage sales, and second-hand stores are great places to find inexpensive decorative items. Look for art work, vases, baskets, rugs, mirrors, pillows, and any other items you need to stage the home.
  • Create focal points by adding colorful accents.

Some additional tricks of the trade include painting, which gives every room an instant makeover, and replacing faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Use the Internet for more ideas: HGTV’s “Designed to Sell,” Better Homes and Gardens, and A&E’s “Sell this House.”

Hughesville MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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